Case Study

Securing Gas Transfer Stations Against Cyberattacks

  • Application Pipeline Remote Monitoring Systems
  • Industry Oil & Gas 
  • Region USA

Introduction

High-capacity natural gas pipelines are very volatile and span thousands of kilometers. The gas transfer stations along the pipeline are equipped with gas analyzers and PLCs, and send site data to a remote SCADA system. This system utilizes the public network for remote gas analyzer data acquisition and requests a secure tunnel between gas stations and the control center. The pipeline needs to install secure monitoring and control systems that are strongly protected from cyber attacks that may be either opportunistic phishing attempts or targeted attempts to infiltrate the system.

System Requirements

  • Secure and reliable data transmission with strong authentication, encryption, and integrity protection
  • Strong firewall protection and access controls on the internal network to protect critical devices, such as PLCs
  • A rugged, industrial design capable of functioning reliably in harsh environmental conditions

Moxa Solution

For this project, gas transfer stations along a pipeline use Moxa’s EDS-508A managed switches to connect gas analyzers and PLCs to a remote SCADA system. To ensure local security and data authenticity, Moxa’s EDR-G903—a Gigabit-capacity industrial VPN router—was used to build highly secure VPN tunnels between the transfer stations and the central SCADA system. The EDR-G903 router has a network address translation (NAT) firewall and a VPN client, to shield devices on the internal LAN from unauthorized access, but also maintain secure communications with remote stations that link up across public networks.securing-gas-transfer-station-against-cyber-attack-(3).jpg

Why Moxa

  • Sufficient Gigabit bandwidth with copper/fiber combo ports
  • A VPN client with redundant WAN ports for increased reliability
  • A router with a native NAT-capable firewall and VPN client
  • Simple and intuitive configuration interface
  • Suitable for operating in temperatures from -40 to 75°C

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